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Smart Car, Meet Smarter Car: Gordon Murray’s T.25

These days, cars are like cell phones. They keep getting smaller and smaller, all the while becoming somehow more and more efficient. Yesterday saw the unveiling of the latest in tiny autmobiles, with Gordon Murray‘s T.25. Murray used to be an engineer for Formula One and he created the McLaren supercar. This is nothing like that. Three years in the making, the T.25 is a cute little environmentally-friendly masterpiece.

The car measures only 7.8 feet long and 4.2 feet wide. Like Formula One vehicles, the driver and all the instrumentation are centered. The T.25 also has one of the best turning ratios among minis on the road, besting the Smart Car and the BMW Mini. And weighing in at just over 1,200 pounds, the car is extremely efficient. The gasoline model, expected to retail around $9,000, will get approximately 74 miles to the gallon, while a sister electric model, the T.27, will retail for $18,000 and achieve 80-100 miles per gallon. Top speed is estimated at 80 mph.

And look how cute it is!

Now, you’d think a car this small wouldn’t be able to hold passengers. But let these diagrams prove us all wrong by showing what most be the least comfortable arrangement of three passengers ever recommended by an automobile manufacturer. As you can see, the rear area can also be configured for storage.

But beyond the car itself, Murray is streamlining the manufacturing process with iStream (take that, Apple’s future attempts at building cars or aqueducts). Murray described this groundbreaking process to CNN:

“iStream” is “a complete rethink and redesign of the traditional manufacturing process,” he says, which simplifies the auto assembly line by allowing all major components to be fitted directly on to the chassis prior to the body panels, which are also pre-painted.

The streamlining of the process could mean smaller, more efficient auto plants which reduce the overall carbon footprint of the car.

“It is the most radical change in, let’s say, the last 100 years of car body making. With “iStream” one of the most cost intensive production steps — body panel press shop — is completely eliminated.”

This little guy seems to have everything going for it. Except, you know, that any adult over 6 feet tall can’t be a passenger.

(Via CNN)

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